It's been just over a year since I submitted my first review to Sputnikmusic. Back then my musical background consisted mostly of Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold, Megadeth, and whatever power metal band I could get my hands on. And while I'm not going to pretend my musical tastes are extremely varied and whatnot (because they aren't), I've opened myself up to dozens upon dozens are new artists, some which I've really enjoyed, some which I've become indifferent to, and some which I've learned to detest rather quickly. Of all these bands, however, not too many have managed to interest me as much as Our Lady Peace. I've heard all six of the band's albums, and each of them has managed to reach out to me in some way. Their 1997 recording, Clumsy, is my favourite of all their releases, but I wouldn't crown it as the band's strongest album. No, that would go to Happiness Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch.
But what makes Happiness the Canadian band's best album? It's quite simple. Not only does the record contain some of Our Lady Peace's most memorable songs such as Stealing Babies and One Man Army, it more notably combines the styles of the group's first two albums. Our Lady Peace effectively incorporates both the song writing and musical depth of Naveed as well as the catchy commercial tendencies of Clumsy into a fun, interesting slab of 90's alternative rock. But don't get me wrong. While Happiness builds on the band's past successes, it does not feature Our Lady Peace resting on its laurels. The 12 track record manages to sound fresh, new, and exciting, a feat not too many band's of this ilk could say they had achieved by at this point in time. The music is energetic and emotional. Raine Maida's voice is arguably at its most bizarre (just listen to Annie or Consequence of Laughing and you'll know what I mean), but still exceedingly enjoyable to listen to. The lyrics are as ambiguous and metaphorical as ever. No question, this is Our Lady Peace in top form. For 43 minutes the band successfully weaves its way through catchy, anthem-esque choruses; soft, vocally driven verses; chilling acoustic intros and effective rhythm work which the entire band contributes to (particularly drummer Jimmy Taggart). Quite a powerful album to listen to, undoubtedly.
While the likes of Superman's Dead will probably top my list of favourite Our Lady Peace songs, the band's third album has an assortment of tracks which could find themselves near the top. Album opener and first single One Man Army would be one of these tracks. In typical Our Lady Peace single fashion, the track is a mid-paced, very upbeat offering. Particularly effective is the songs chorus. While Raine Maida's vocals appear to steal the spotlight, driving bass lines, guitar riffs, and keyboard lines add depth to the track. It's a very memorable moment, and surely one of the highlights of the album. One Man Army's follow up track, Happiness and the Fish takes on a totally different atmosphere, however. Where One Man Army was upbeat and fairly happy sounding, the title track sounds a tad bit more grave and serious. It retains the catchy, frantic edge displayed by its predecessor, but it seems as though this time around the lyrical content is the main focus of the track rather than the band's musical ability.
With Happiness is Not a Fish that You Can Catch, Our lady Peace arguably achieved its peak in quality. Continuing the trends set on Naveed and Clumsy, the album once again mixes musical excellence with catchy, commercial sensibilities. Though each of the tracks follow a similar formula, the tracks manage to sound fresh and new. When listening to tracks such as Stealing Babies, One Man Army and Is Anybody Home, it is quite clear that each member of the band is in top form, especially Raine Maida, whose unique falsetto is extremely memorable and, well, fun to listen to. Fans of 90's alternative rock should definitely check this album out, as it is one of the better takes on the genre.
I'm upset...happiness is not a fish that you can catch
One Man Army
Happiness & the Fish
Is Anybody Home?
Consequences of Laughing
|other reviews of this album|
Great review. I've only heard one song from this band (had something to do with missing someone's purple hair or something, but it was pretty good.) I may check this out.
Album Rating: 3.0
For some reason I never really dug this that much, aside from the singles and title track, which are all awesome, especially Thief. Still a pretty solid album though. Good job Mike.
Digging: Sun Kil Moon - Benji
Good review. I might check this out soon.
Yeah, great work here. I liked the intro.
Album Rating: 5.0
For some reason I never really dug this that much, aside from the singles and title track, which are all awesome, especially Thief. Still a pretty solid album though.Funny, Thief is one of my least favourite songs from the album, but it's still pretty decent.
Digging: St. Vincent - St. Vincent
Album Rating: 4.5
I make love to this album at least once a week (if I'm lucky). Brillant from start to finish. Really nailed the review right there.
I should get my hands on this, great review
Album Rating: 4.5
This album gets better every time I listen to it.
Album Rating: 4.5
Spiritual Machines is still their best IMO
Album Rating: 5.0
Last 30 seconds of "Consequences of Laughing".
The big deal here escapes me.
Digging: Jamie Isaac - I Will Be Cold Soon
I agree, that album and Spiritual Machines are these guys at their best in my opinion. Was gonna review their album Curve that they came out with this year, back when I first joined the site, never got around to it though. Curve was pretty sucky, it really couldn't hold a candle to any of their other work.
One of the only quality alt rock groups when the post-grunge wave came around,
that's for sure. But yeah, band might as well have died in the '90s, they act like it's
still the '90s on their new album anyway.
Same here. It would be really nice to live through seeing my favorite artists in their prime. It would be cool to experience OK Computer or Loveless when they were first released.
Anger Management Tour right? lol. Angry nu metal, those were the days. Well, that
was back when Em was at the top of his game and pretty much on top of the hip
hop world, and that was also before Limp Bizkit released Chocolate Starfish, so that's
worth something in my book lol.
You were 13 in 2000? Holy shit, you are WAY older than me man lol. By like 7 years.
That it does, granted we spend a good portion of our adolescent years wanting to be older.
Yeah, it's hard to believe I spent four years in high school, it really hasn't felt to me like it took that long. I haven't gone to college yet since I graduated in May and doing practically nothing these last few months has given me time to reflect on how easy it is to let the days just go by.
I remember when I used to love this band
Digging: Carnage - Dark Recollections